The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mint Julep

Quite possibly my new favorite restaurant.

Or at least it is in the top 15.

And it all started with an innocent little Groupon.

Groupons have changed my life. 

Or at least changed our restaurant eating habits.

It can get pretty expensive to eat out, after all.

Anyhoo, I have been dying to try this place ever since it opened. 

1.  It has a great name.
2.  It serves upscale Southern food.
3.  It serves "small" plates similar to tapas, so you can try multiple dishes and share with your loved ones.

What more could you want?

Except for maybe for it to be a little closer.  It is on the OTHER side of town and near NOTHING that I visit on a regular basis.  

That is why my original plan was to meet friends for lunch or dinner or afternoon drinks and have a fun girly experience.   To make a day of it.

But my plans never seemed to work out due to busyness and crazy schedules and the fact that no one particularly cares to be seen with me in person.

I have a tendency to make out with my food.  And for some reason it seems to cause a bit of embarrassment.

For my food.  And my friends.  But mostly for my food.

So, the Groupon went to Kev by default.  Which means that it was expiring in a couple of days and I had NO time to actually go meet someone for a meal there SO I HAD to get take out to ensure that my Groupon did not go to waste.

Kev always wins in the end.  If you can call having to have a "girly experience" with me a win. 

I researched the menu for a couple of days.... and just in case you love to read menus as much as I do, you can find it HERE.

I made a list of what we (I) wanted to try and called it in after I got out of the gym.

An evening when I was particularly sweaty and gross. 

Which is why I probably received the stink eye from most of the patrons in the place.

They were very busy... at the bar, in the lounge, in the dining room.  And I felt like all eyes were on me as I walked up to get my food, in my smelly workout clothes, with a Groupon.

Thank goodness I don't live close by.

And I was wearing a mustache for a disguise.

The people working there were SO nice and amazing and quick.  And were able to get me out of there before I scared off any future patrons.

At this point it was late.  Like after nine.  And I was famished and exhausted and just ready to eat.  You will just have to excuse the pics and the food display... because I literally RAN in to the house, grabbed my camera, opened the containers, snapped a couple of pics, and started eating.

Kev wasn't very far behind. 

We stood at the kitchen island with forks in hand and just played musical positions as we went from container to container grabbing bites.

It was all INCREDIBLE!!!  Even after driving 30 minutes in the car with the air conditioning on full blast.

Here is what we tried...

1.  Blackened Tilapia with yellow rice pilaf and sweet potato fries.

Fish was cooked perfectly.  Rice was AMAZING and flavorful.  Fries were "o.k" - but we eat sweet potato fries all the time so we have become quite the fry snobs.

2.  Shrimp and Grits with green pepper sauce!
OH MY GOODNESS.  Incredible!  Loved the flavors... loved every thing about it.  Kev requests shrimp and grits every once in a while.... but my recipe doesn't even come close to this, I was glad he finally got to try the REAL thing!

3.  Black Eyed Pea Hummus with grilled pita chips!

Be still my heart!!  First of all, I am a HUGE hummus fan!! Like, I basically eat it every single day.  So, you can imagine why my eyes rolled in to the back of my head when I tasted this!  It was fabulous.  I MUST RECREATE AT HOME!  ( Bethany, you would LOVE this stuff!!)

And I saved the best for last...
4.  Fried Green Tomatoes with dill sour cream sauce and corn salsa.

I imagine this is what you would find at the end of a rainbow! 

I have dreamed all of my life as to what a fried green tomato would taste like.  I've never had the opportunity to have one.... and  had basically decided that they must be a myth.

But I have become a fan!  A HUGE fan.  It was cooked perfectly.  Crunchy but not greasy.  And I truly believe that the sauce and the salsa made the dish.  I just couldn't get enough.  In fact, I may or may not have bit Kev when he tried to sneak another bite.

And I may or may not have taken the container in to another room and hunkered down in the corner to eat my delight in peace.

Yum City!

Basically, I highly recommend this place.  The atmosphere seemed to be so much fun!! Especially the "lounge" section.  And I'm sure every thing else on their menu is out of this world.  It would be a fun place for a bunch of girls to go to together.

Or Kev. 

He is always such a good back up plan.  :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend What-Nots

We bid farewell to the pop-up camper today.  The one we have been storing in our back yard under a camouflaged tarp.

We were storing it for my parents.  Their neighborhood association forbids such things.  Things like 25 year old pop up campers that have seen the world.

Fortunately, our neighborhood "association" celebrates things like that.  And actually prefers if they are put on display in the front yard. 

My parents came to pick it up for my sister, Shannon.  Word on the street is that her family is going to start using it for camping trips. 

Scary but true.

I cannot even begin to tell you the hundreds of memories that that camper holds.  Starting way back in the eighties when I was standing in front of my middle school waiting for my parents to come pick me up.  They rounded the corner in a station wagon OR brown carpeted (floor to ceiling) van (can't remember which) pulling the camper.  There were millions of child-sized limbs flailing outside of the windows waving at me and screaming my name.


I wished I could hide up inside of my ridiculously teased and hair sprayed hair... kind of like a turtle hides in it's shell.... but it was too late.  Every one was already looking at me.

So, I joined the witness protection program.

I was rejected.  Mainly because I was a stubborn brat that got embarrassed easily.

It's a good thing, though... because that day started a life full of incredible adventures and memories.

Things that I will never forget.

I'm telling you that my family could sit around for HOURS and tell stories of things that happened in the camper, outside of the camper, on the road with the camper, and in my back yard with the camper.

It was the best fifty bucks my parents ever spent.  And I'm just assuming that it only cost fifty bucks because it was the eighties and gas was like 50 cents a gallon. 

Anyway, they came to take it away.

And left us this as a thank-you....

Veggies from my Dad's garden!  THE BEST!!!

A thank you wasn't necessary as we were glad to do it... (it's not like we are using our backyard for anything else...) but we are always happy to receive FOOD!!

I'm going to make a vegetable frittata.

And a million other things. 

I can't wait!

I  have also just completed week two of half marathon training and weight training.

I have sore shins.  And hamstrings.  And butt cheeks.

I'm feeling pretty darn good about the weight training.  I am consistently going up in weight and perfecting my form.  The running, however, is not going as I would like.  I can't seem to speed up to save my life... and have discovered that I am a faster (to me) runner if I just jog consistently than if I try to run fast (to me) for a little bit and then walk fast for a little bit.

Oh well, at least I still have 10 weeks.

And I'm running this race for myself... not for fame and fortune.  :)

I'm just looking forward to the day that I can say .... "I just ran four miles in thirty five minutes and it was nothing.... now give me some candy!"

Apparently, I need to be able to do that before Halloween.. because that is the only time I would be asking for candy.

As for our weekend tradition of grilling..... it is going to involve this:

And I can barely even stand it!

So excited to try these flavors together!

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


An incredible place for lunch!
Lillian's is where Sweet Caroline's baby shower was held.  Caroline is my soon-to-be niece in case you forgot.  I haven't.  Because I am literally counting the days until she is born.  Long legs and all.  I love that precious girl already!

Lillian's just so happens to be right across the street from my new place of work.  It is truly fate that we got to know each other... and an added bonus that I fell in love with the food.

My Mom has been asking to take me to lunch ever since I started my new job.  She has patiently waited while I worked and worked and worked getting situated in my new store.  Any time she would bring it up... I had no definite idea of where I wanted to eat.  Until the baby shower.  And then I knew that Lillian's would be the host of my new job celebration.

So, it finally happened.  My life got back to normal.  I texted my Mom to set a date.  And we went last Tuesday.

It was just what I imagined.

Comforting and delicious.

I was encouraged to try the chicken salad.  In fact, just about every person that I have mentioned Lillian's to has suggested the chicken salad.  It is famous and I'm sure absolutely incredible!! Not to mention that chicken salad just so happens to be my most favorite sandwich of ALL time. 

However, from the minute I walked in to the place for the baby shower.... I had the avocado, sprout, and Swiss sandwich on the brain... and I knew that if I didn't try it I would regret it.

I believe that me and avocados were separated at birth... because every time that I am around one I feel the need for us to be together.

Plus - now that I work where I do... I can visit Lillian's any time that I want and can eat chicken salad all the live long day.

At least that is my plan!

My Mom got the chicken salad, though.  On a croissant.  And it looked incredible!!

As for my sandwich... it did NOT disappoint.  In fact, it was perfect.  Melted Swiss with avocado= heavenly.  I think I gobbled it up in a matter of seconds.  And then sat there and daydreamed about what I had just eaten.

We got there at 11am and were the only ones in the place.  But by noon, it was filled to the max! There were even people waiting for a table.  It is one popular place!  I should have realized that because whenever I bring it up to my customers, they are very familiar with it and always have wonderful things to say!

Lunch was great!  The company was great!! And it was good to get caught up on all of the happenings with the family.

It was such a fun afternoon.  My Mom even stopped by to see my store.

Thanks Mom for such a fabulous experience!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dark Chocolate Dreams

 This morning got a little stupid.

And by stupid, I mean crazy.

And by crazy, I mean that I made the perfect breakfast, dessert, snack, lunch, and dinner all in the same dish.

Dark chocolate chip banana bread.

My new favorite thing on the planet.
I found the recipe in the latest issue of Clean Eating.  It is basically a banana bread recipe made with the healthiest ingredients you can possibly use.

Raw honey, flaxseed oil, ground flaxseed, bananas..... and the best part of all.... dark chocolate chips.

I earmarked it for this morning.  And I "earmarked" three bananas for the recipe.  Kev is so good about eating up older looking fruit - so, if I need it for something I have to make it very clear.  Which basically means that I told him to NOT eat the bananas.  They were MINE!

To which, he just said "ok" and went on about his business.  He has gotten used to my spastic food hoarding behavior and  barely questions anything anymore.

I've decided that if I ever need to hide anything from him... I will just hide it in the kitchen inside some food.

And then knowing me... I will promptly forget about it until the end of time.

My memory blows these days.

Anyway, I literally dreamed about this stuff.  And couldn't wait to get up and make it.

It was very easy.  Basically mixing the dry.... mixing the wet... and then mixing it all together.

The chips were added in last..
I never knew I was such a fan of dark chocolate chips.... but for goodness sake they are so good.  And since they are considered a healthy chocolate ( in moderation), it makes them taste even better.

The bread was finished baking in 40 minutes.
I let it sit for as long as I could ( two minutes) and then cut a slice.  It was still warm.  And the chocolate was all melty.  And it was absolute perfection.

I can't even believe that this stuff is as healthy as it is.  It would make the perfect breakfast.  Or a pre-workout snack. 

Or even a dessert.  I'm telling you now that if you were invited to a party and were asked to bring dessert.... no one would EVER know that this stuff was organic, clean and filled with nutrition.  EVER!  It is just that good.

I ran to the garage with a bite on a fork for Kev.  I fed it to him while he was working.  He ran around in circles for hours.  And then came inside and ate a whole piece.

And to think that I was THIS CLOSE to buying some ice cream for him at the grocery store yesterday. 

I have a feeling I should keep always keep the ingredients on hand.... it is going to be requested a lot!

In other news...

Dinner last night was FAN-tabulous!
The maple glazed salmon was our favorite!! It was a mixture of pure maple syrup, brown sugar, hot sauce, spicy mustard, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Kev actually "smoked" it on a cedar plank for about 25 minutes.

And then I served it with grilled asparagus and organic jasmine rice.

We also put some Trader Joe's hot and sweet mustard on top of the fish for a little added flavor. 

Holy mess!! It was yummy!

I'm so thankful that I did not get my Dad's allergy to salmon!

Kev pretty much has our eating outside down to a science.  He lights a Tiki candle and sets up two fans that blow in each direction.  It keeps the flies away and makes for a comfortable atmosphere.

So, much so that we were lucky enough to have a visitor....

Froggles!! He joined us for a quick minute... and probably would have stayed longer except he grew tired of the obnoxiously loud lady snapping his picture and hopped off in to oblivion.  I have never seen a frog hop so fast in all my life!

He basically disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

Similar  to a vampire... but minus the smoke.

 Speaking of which... I'm off to watch the rest of True Blood season three.  I can't seem to get enough of it!!  I love me some HBO!  And for you fans out there.... every one was right... after season one, Eric becomes vastly superior to Bill in the heartthrob category.

So much so, that I've told Kev that if he shows up on our front doorstep to definitely invite him in. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A List

A list of new things.  New things that are happening in the Snyder household.

It is pretty amazing.

At least if you are us.  Which you are not.  So, you might be bored with this list.

1.  Mason jars full of coffee. 

I got this idea from a blog.  To brew your coffee the night before and store it in the fridge in a mason jar.  Or anther container that is not as cool or classic. 

It makes all the difference in the world.  To not have to wake up and make your drink of choice is awesome.  I can just go to the fridge... pour the amount that I want.... and immediately reap the rewards of a caffeinated beverage.

It also lasts a couple of days.  I may be addicted to caffeiene... but I at least know how to limit myself.

Oh.  And putting it in a jar... with a LID.... also works well.  Especially, in a family where there is someone who angrily thrusts his food around and unknowingly spills whatever tea/coffee that you have in the back brewing with no lid on.

Not that that happened in our fridge. 

Except for that it did.  And it was a HUGE mess.  

2.  Watermelon.

It has seriously become my new favorite food of all time.  I CANNOT get enough of it.  Especially if it is cold! 

I have found myself hoping and praying that no one wants watermelon when they come over (not very often) because I want it all to myself.

And that is pretty much what happens. 

Kev cuts up a watermelon.  Puts in a large bowl.  I eat every single piece except for the couple of cubes that he ate while cutting..... and then every one is happy.

At least, I am. 

What I miss about it.... the SEEDS!!!  I cannot tell you the last time that I have had a watermelon with black seeds in it.  It has been years.

The seeds were great for spitting.  And for growing more watermelon ( my Dad would let us plant them in his garden... FYI-nothing ever grew).  And for "acting" as people on a large cruise ship when I would take the hollowed out watermelon rind in the bathtub with me to recreate The Love Boat.

The seeds ended up doing a lot of kissing. 

It was awkward to be in the bathtub with them.

Side note: Kev is chopping a watermelon as we speak!! It is my second watermelon this week.  I need help!

3.  Mesh food cover thingies.

I bought these at World Market last year at the end of the season.  And then forgot about them.

Kev pulled them out for our Fourth of July party. 

The rest is history.  Especially since the flies will NOT go away!!

I have been using them inside the house.  I basically cook dinner.  Or lunch.  Or breakfast.  And then cover it with the mesh tent.

It keeps the food secure and me happy.  What more could you want in an object?

Except for Kev claims that the flies sit on top of the mesh tent and spit down in to his food.

I have yet to see this, of course.  But I guess it could happen.

Flies are EVIL!!

4.  WHOLE FOODS!!!!!  It has been brought to my attention and just about every one else in Columbia that Whole Foods is going to be opening next Fall in the area that I work in.

I have pinched myself.  Passed out.  Thrown up.  And pinched myself again.

( I didn't really throw up.... or any thing else that I said for that matter.... but I need for you to know that I am taking this seriously!)

Do you realize what this means for Columbia??  GOOD THINGS!!! Good things INDEED!!

Trader Joe's usually follows Whole Foods.  And my happiness usually follows Trader Joe's.

So be prepared for me to be ridiculously happy!!

Even though I already am!!

5.  I am sitting outside at the moment.  Kev is about to start grilling salmon.  On a cedar plank.  In three different flavors.... salt and pepper.  Maple glazed.  Asian flavored.

It doesn't get any better than this, folks.  It just doesn't.

I love summer.  I love grilled food.  I love lists.  I love Kev.

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sore and Successful

Well, almost successful.

I have officially completed my first week of half marathon training and weight lifting training... and let me just tell you that I can barely walk.  Or cook.  Or clean.

At least that is what I'm telling Kev.  haha.

Seriously though, I am SOOOO sore.  And tired.  And I still can't seem to get the whole "eating the right things at the right time" down.  Even though I am eating plenty and filling myself with lots of nutrients.

Case in point..... I ate breakfast this morning at 8am.  Went to get my hair "did".  Ran from 11:30 to 12:30 (yes, I'm still slow).  And then felt like I was going to pass out when I got to the mall.

Granted... I probably should have eaten something before (and after!) I ran - seeing as how I sat in a salon chair for 2 1/2 hours.  But I felt full.  And fine to run.  I guess it is just a lesson learned.

Speaking of hair.... I went to my REAL hairstylist.  The one who doesn't turn my hair a brassy blonde.  And who knows who E.T. is!! ( I'm not sure if I told you... but the girl who messed up my color had no clue who he was!!! YIKES!!  Either I'm super old or she didn't have a childhood. ??)  Anyway, Kelly fixed my "do".  She put it back to the real color.... the color I was born with.... the color that all the gray hairs have overtaken... and we are just going to let it sit at that until my next appointment when we will start  highlighting again.

Wow.  Such a fascinating story.  I'm sure you are sitting on the edge of your seat!

Anyhoo... I have completed my three runs.  And I have completed three workouts.  And (of course) I have some feedback for you!

First of all, I love a good schedule.  So, the schedule that I am following has been awesome.  It gives me something to focus on and check off my list for the day. 

Second of all, I have learned many things about my running.  I.AM.SLOW.  No worries, though.  I have plenty of time ( I hope).  I have been running the track at the gym... of which there are positives and negatives.... but mostly positives.

Like this:
1.  I stay very focused because I am actually MOVING.  Three miles is thirty six laps.  I feel so accomplished every time I cross the line that implies I am on a new lap.
2.  Since I have remembered my IPOD - all has been good.  I seem to be motivated by dirty language- so, Eminem and Limp Bizkit (yes, I know it's old school) have been helping me tear up the track.  Except for tear is probably not the right should more like "scoot".
3.  Kev has thrown in a little Justin Timberlake ( or as I like to say "J.T") for kicks.  I wish someone would invent a sound machine that plays his beat boxing to help you sleep.  I would sleep so good... that's for sure.  I HEART me some J.T.!

And for the negatives:
1.  The track is NOT Disney World.  It is ridiculous to think that it is OK to get in large groups and walk slowly while you talk about boys.  The track is only three lanes wide.  Three small lanes!!  Dodging in and out of your slow walking group is frustrating!
2.  It would be helpful if people that are running would look behind them and to the side of them before they decide to stop mid run to look over the balcony.  They only reasons to stop mid run in the middle of the track are if your feet fall off.
3.  Running in large circles may not be the best way to get me ready for a half marathon.
4.  Very strange people seem to run the track.  Myself included.

And so far I have been unsuccessful in running the entire time.  I feel like I could.  But I just seem to psyche myself out and start to walk.  I think it happens when I start thinking about the fact that I am running and breathing hard and then I just get frazzled.

As for weight lifting.....

I've also got a little feedback on the book....
I have to be honest here and tell you that I haven't read the entire book.  In fact, I started reading it and then just started skipping around to random chapters.

The book is very informative.  And detailed.  And humorous.  And full of great information.  BUT it is a lot of stuff that I already knew.  As in, Kev pretty much has taught me most of the tips and techniques.  It is just that I haven't consistently followed them.  So, for the first part of the book I was bored.  But then it gets in to actual workouts.  And schedules.  And you all know how much I love a schedule and a, I am ultimately very happy that I purchased it.

The workouts even have pictures and descriptions for you to follow.

Love that.

I just carry my book up to the weight room and workout like I own the place.

Oh... actually I do own the place.  :)  Because it is in my house.

The workouts last between 20-30 minutes.  Perfect for a busy schedule!  At first I felt that I wasn't really getting that great of a workout.... because of my lack of sweat. But I was wrong!! I have been so sore once the evening has rolled around of the day that I lifted weights.


And then there is the eating plan.  Not a diet, mind you... but a healthy eating plan.

Well, I'm sure it is all good and wonderful...... but I have learned from (many) past mistakes that eating/diet plans DO NOT WORK FOR ME!!

In this past year, I have come to the conclusion that eating "clean" ( organic, fresh, non chemical) is the best way for ME to stay healthy.

(Unless it is a baby shower or a wedding or a 4th of July celebration)

I don't count calories.  I "eyeball" portions.  I basically just eat what I want. 

So, instead of eating 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with 10 blueberries...... I will probably eat a bowl of plain greek yogurt with a handful of strawberries.  And maybe a spoonful of peanut butter.  And a pinch of dark chocolate.

Some days I'm hungry all day.  Some days I'm  hardly hungry at all. 

So, I'm not even going to pretend that I'm following a special workout eating plan.  Even though I clearly need to watch my fuel intake before and after workouts!

And that is where this comes in to play......

The book does suggest a whey protein supplement for AFTER your workout.  Kev drinks this stuff like it is going out of style.  I have not been a fan due to the ingredient list.  ( hello chemicals!!)  But this stuff isn't so bad... and has a pretty organic, I have been testing it out.  I have been mixing two small scoops with half water and half coffee. 

The coffee helps it not taste so bad.  And gives me that extra wake-up call that I need first thing in the morning.

And yes, I'm back on caffeine.... though trying my darndest to not become obsessed with it!!

I plan to keep you updated on the training and such...... not because I think you are DYING to hear about it.... but because it helps hold me accountable.  :)

And now I am off to soak my sore muscles in a bath.  Or the pool.  Whichever I make it to first.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Okey Dokey Artichokey

My Mom used to say that to me when I was young.  Actually, she probably still says it.. because she is funny that way.  And who doesn't love a good rhyme?

The problem is that I had no idea what an artichoke was.  Or did I care to know.  It sounded like something awful and healthy.

But then I grew up and became infatuated with any kind of restuarant appetizer that was hot and had cheese in it.

Which introduced me to the hot artichoke dip.


Then, Paula Deen introduced me to the most amazing artichoke AND spinach dip.  I fell completely in love.

But I still had yet to eat an artichoke plain.

At least, not that I know of.

Until now. 

 I received this jar of grilled artichokes as a gift....

I was determined to make something healthy with them.  Something that I could actually taste the artichoke without it being smothered in a million other flavors.

I googled "grilled artichokes" and came up with a cold tortellini pasta salad.


Especially since I can't move an inch these days without sweating my brains out. 

Summer is just a time for "cold" recipes.  Plain and simple.

The recipe called for whole wheat tortellini.  We have never had tortellini.  I have never bought pasta out of the refrigerated section.  I have never made a pasta salad that wasn't out of a box.

And while I am confessing my "nevers"... I will tell you that I never took a shower today.  Even though I ran this morning.  But I did get my hair my head is clean (ish). 

Summer is also a time for bathing in swimming pools.  Just in case you didn't know.

Regardless, the pasta was DEE-LISH.  And filled with cheese!  So, even though I am trying to watch my cheese intake... it was worth every bite!

The recipe involved chopped artichokes, peppers, basalmic vinegar, olive oil, and BASIL.  I just can't seem to get enough of it this year.....  Which is good since Kev has a green thumb which has encouraged my basil plant to grow to the ceiling.
You can find the recipe here.

I followed it exactly except for the black olives... and I did make my own dressing.

Kev has an unfortunate hate for olives even though I think they are the best things this side of the Mississippi.

As far as the other side.... I'm not sure.

The salad lasted us for dinner and two lunches each.  I also served mine on a huge bed of greens.

The artichokes can be found at Williams Sonoma.  Or you can just use regular old artichokes... but just be prepared to not enjoy eating it as much as I did!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let The Training Begin.....

Today officially starts my twelve week training program for the Food and Wine half marathon in October.

Actually, my twelve weeks started yesterday... but I chose to make it a rest day because that's the kind of gal I am.  Kinda lazy.

At least when it comes to a stringent training plan.  And house cleaning.

I also think that there could not be a more perfect half marathon for me to run.  I mean... food and wine... need I say more.

And because I feel the need to go overboard with every thing that I do... I also decided to start a weightlifting program.

Two training programs.  Simultaneously.

I just cried a little when I typed that.

I got my half marathon training plan from the world wide web.

And I got my weightlifting training plan from this book....

The perfect "by the pool- summer read".  Not.

Reading it almost makes me feel like I'm working.  I guess it is a part time job keeping this body of mine in shape.


I mean... yay!  Working out is great!

Actually, I really love it.  It is just SO hard to start back up on a consistent program when you have been slacking for the past two months. 

And enjoying way too many fun summer activities ( meaning too much food).  And spending all your time writing on your blog that you have been working so much.  (Geez.  I re-read some posts last night and it is just about all I talk about.  Dramatic much?)

Anyway, I guess that paying so much ahead of time for the race helped me out in the long run.  Mainly because I don't want to waste the money.. but also because I want to run a great race, have a great experience, push myself, and I don't want to keep my family waiting too long at the finish line.

The race does start at 10pm, after all.  They might need to bring their sleeping bags.

So, the running plan and the weightlifting plan conflict a little bit.  Mostly with the rest days.  I should probably be resting more than I am planning too... but just know that I will listen to my  body ( it speaks Spanish) and will cut back where/when I need to.

My workout plan will look something like this....

Sunday - weights/abs
Monday- run 3 miles
Tuesday - weights/abs
Wednesday- boxing/ run 3 miles
Thursday - yoga/ weights
Friday- REST
Saturday- spin/ run 5 miles

I would love to practice more yoga... but I just can't seem to find the time to fit it in.  I will still be working full time after all.  Also, my running will increase weekly...building up to 20 miles a week.

And my workout schedule does change weekly depending on when I work.

But you get the gist.

It's fascinating, I'm sure.

On the plan for today was my first run.  Just three miles.  No big deal.  Except for I have been SO inconsistent lately... so, I was dreading it more than you know.

Especially since I realized that I forgot my IPOD - even after I chanted myself to sleep last night saying "don't forget your IPOD".  And also because my fabulous running gear has become a little to invasive for my liking... and for other people's safety.

I blame it on the cupcakes, and fried fish, and peach ice cream, and every thing else that I have stuffed my face with the past month.

After work, I took my sweet time eating my snack and getting dressed.  Like "you would have thought I was on a beach vacation" sweet time.  And then I sat in the gym parking lot for about five minutes just staring at the front door wishing that it would disappear.

It didn't.

I dragged myself in.  Went up to the theater room. And then realized that the gym was so incredibly packed that there was NO treadmill available.  NO TREADMILL IN THE ENTIRE PLACE.  And the place is HUGE.  I almost decided to call today another rest day and head home... but I put my big girl panties on and headed to the track.

The track that most people on the cardio machines can see.  Which means they can all watch me run in big circles.

Most of the time I am very shy.

Not to mention that the humidity had increased the volume of my hair by a million percent.  And within seconds of me starting to run, my boy short underwear decided it needed a job change and took the position of a thong.

Something that I'm sure that every one realized.

At least by the grimace on my face.

Bottom line is that I started slow.  I ran slow.  I finished slow.  I walked a little.  I ran as much as I could.  I pretended that I was the only one in the gym.  And I decided that I didn't care what I looked like in the middle of a massive meat market... especially since my package expired in 1995.

 I dreamt of the day that I can run side by side with Rebecca A. at the Riverwalk.  ( Right now it would be a recreation of the tortoise and the hare... and I would be the one with the hard shell)

( And would NOT be the one to finish first)

( So, then I guess I would actually be the one with the bunny tail)


And, of course, I pictured myself running across the finish line.  And getting a medal put around my neck.

It will be fabulous!! At least I think that I will feel that way once I am knee deep in training.  The first weeks are always the hardest.

My other accomplishment tonight was discovering that I definitely need to get some new running shoes.  Shoes that are strictly for running.  Like these...
These were my shoes from back in the day.  They helped me run my very first half marathon in 2007.  They also helped me get through the "Great renovation of 2007-2009".  You can't tell by the picture, but they are covered in paint and dirt and dust.  And have actually turned grey.

But in a bizarre moment recently, I put them on and ran around and realized that the shoes I've been wearing are more for cross training and lifting weights.  Meaning... they are pretty heavy and cumbersome.  So, long story short... I ran in these tonight to prove to myself that I must get some actual running shoes.  And I need to get them now, so I can break them in.

I will have to get Kev on that immediately.

If you are still reading this ridiculously long post.  Thank you.  And I'm sorry.

And don't worry... I will keep you updated on my progress....  Of my workouts AND the status of my boy shorts.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shade and Shenanigans

Before I begin my tale of of what went down in our backyard on the 3rd of July.... I need for you to know that I am currently watching Tron.  The movie.  The second one.

I use the word "watching" loosely.

I have no idea what is going on.  And unfortunately it was my idea to watch this because I never saw the first movie. *Gasp*.  Kev says that it means I didn't have a childhood.

I say that it means that my parents didn't force me to watch bizarre sci-fi movies unless they involved princesses, Ewoks, and cute robots.

Regardless, I remember the arcade video game at Showbiz pizza.  If that counts for anything.

I will ask Kev to tell me the details when the movie is over.  He is so good to me that way... even if my request will result in major sighs and the rolling of eyes.

Anyway, as you know we celebrated the 4th of July on the 3rd.  And we hosted our annual cookout in our back yard because it was the right thing to do.

And just so much darn fun!

The last you heard from me before the party was that Kev had just gotten up and it was time for me to get to work.

I rushed around pulling out my ONE side dish and putting sun block on and just basically doing everything that I could to look busy.

Until I looked outside and saw this.....

And realized that Kev had put together the best backyard party setup ever. 

At least for our crew.

The above picture is the perfect example of what happens when I work on the weekends.  Lowes does every thing in it's power to lure Kev in to their store with promises of good deals and extra shade and plenty of seating and things that grill and fry every thing that you can think of.

And they succeed every single time.

And there is nothing I can do about it except enjoy it... because it is too hard not to.

Kev really does think of every thing.

So, I stopped what I was doing (nothing) and went outside to start soaking up the sun and to wait for our guests.

Our first party guest....

Mason had to come check out what was going on.... I'm still not sure what he was wearing.  Pajamas? Play clothes? Swim suit? 

Or maybe he was just prepared for anything that could possibly happen.

My nephew, Michael, ( turning EIGHTEEN tomorrow!)
I've had just about enough of him growing up.  And of his muscles that he feels the need to show me every chance he can.

The pool filled up fast...
So much delicious food was brought!!!  Oreo cupcakes, cherry dump cake, homemade peach ice cream, pasta salads.... and the most anticipated addition of all.... fried fish (caught by Randy!) and vinegar wing chips.

In fact, most of the food went untouched while we all waited around for the fish to cook... It was perfectly amazing and one of my favorite "treats".  Unfortunately, (fortunately for dietary reasons) I seem to only get my fried fish fix once a year. 

Which is why I ate 20 pounds of it.

And then ate a couple pieces more.

And just when I thought that we would be freezing our tower of grilled burgers and dogs.... the family.. famished after an entire afternoon of swimming and hyper activity... stayed for dinner.

Our freezer and my fear of frozen foods thanks them.

It looks like some one was flexing their muscles way too much....

And someone was just tuckered out......
This was before Kev jumped in (aka cannonballed) and started the unnecessary rough housing that NO ONE was spared from.....

Shooting the breeze.... and staying out of the sun...

Abigail and Nana were the best of swim buddies.  That sweet girl was born a water baby!  ( I will let you decide who I am referring to.) :)

Hanging out with her Build-a-bear sunglasses.  Perfect for preemies.  


Every one left around 7... way before it was dark enough for fireworks... even though we had already decided not to do them because it was the 3rd and all.  However, our neighbors and the entire town of Gaston had other ideas and shot fireworks over and over and over all through the night.  In fact, a couple of times it sounded like some were going off inside our house.

It was a battle zone.

It was such a fun day.... but over way too fast.  Funny how good times don't last very long.

That is why it is so important to keep having more.....

Especially since we have invested in the ultimate outdoor air conditioning/ sun shading/ seating arrangement set up.